– By: Abigael Anaza-mark
—-The voice of a kid OF the streets crying for others OF the streets and those ON the streets—-
I am not a fan of movies and I therefore admit that I have no idea what the epic ‘Game of Thrones’ is all about. However, whenever thoughts of recent happenings in the highly revered academic class comes to mind, I see nothing bit a ‘game of thrones’.
It was once upon a one man- one room. Once upon a Federal Government sponsored lunch for students, once upon a 24-hour lighting service, once upon a 24-hour library service. Once upon bucket-less bathrooms, once upon a Student Union Government. Once upon the labours of our heroes past.
The students of LAUTECH will not forget the session of compulsory ‘home and industrial training’ as well as the warning from the Constituted Authority. In 2017, the Student Union of the First and the Best in Nigeria- University of Ibadan was sabotaged by the school management. The Great Ife followed suit and their Ogunbodede has since delivered to them the full dividends of a government-less and vulnerable student body. It is not enough to talk of the students being tried in court few weeks ago (to the best of my knowledge, the protest was peaceful). What more can we say of the lockers containing students’ belongings in ETF hall being thrown out mercilessly just two weeks ago. The female students on industrial training who were asked to move to Akintola Hall have since last week been sent packing. One would easily find about three students hanging around in town like bus conductors in a room as large as a low-cost bathroom. I don’t know what you see, but I see a ‘game of thrones’.
The movie is most likely about to be staged in other tertiary institutions across the country, so their students need not come to Ventura. But my friend, if this is the way of ‘the best’ and ‘the great’ think of ‘the rest’.
No team or Coach ever sends an amateur to represent at a tournament. Thus, I urge my dear Hall Chairpersons and Faculty Presidents to understand that this “battle is not ours but the Lords’ ” and therefore they should not deviate from treading softly. This game is well planned and the Lords on the thrones can predict the end from the beginning. They have an answer to every of our questions. So, let’s change the ball game entirely by presenting practical innovative solutions which is characteristic of youths rather than go to only lodge complaints and beg as they expect. Difference in vision is what usually causes tension between schools and student bodies, but a difference in vision and mission of presence should not occur amongst you for you are our hope. I urge you to hold a meeting before attending the Stakeholders Forum tomorrow, have a unified well thought out purpose of presence as against the disillusion characteristic of past (failed) attempts.
Please tell them when you get there tomorrow that not everyone lives in affluence and that without an improvement in the quality of life of low income students, there is no way they can give what they don’t have.
Please tell them that were the low income students highly engaged by the Work and Study Scheme, the story would have been different entirely. In this regard it is important we understand the founding principles guarding the work and study scheme in other great tertiary institutions.
Please tell them that the GES 301 on entrepreneurial studies is very laudable but we will appreciate it better if student’s businesses is allowed to thrive well on campus. We will appreciate it if certain jobs are outsourced to students who have proved themselves worthy to do the job.
Please remind them that we have Awba Dam and a new negotiation with the Federal Government could be considered to see to the completion of the project.
From every happening in this game, one storyline that gets missing always is that the school is silent on the issue of prestige and ranking. Well, if it is all about revenue being generated internally, there is a way.
Please tell them that those great discoveries in research booklets lying in various departmental shelves could be transformed from paper works into hard wares carrying price tags.
If these are not the ways of the best, then what is?
Please tell them that the University carries a huge responsibility as an intellectual leader in the country, on the continent and globally and hence, should not do things in the ways of the rest. Unless there is a positive intervention, the First and the Best may suffer the migration of the best Matriculants, the departure of several of the brightest and best of students and a loss of great alumni and future friends of the university who should be there to transform things in the nearest future.
Finally, brethren, victory belongs to the student body that has just one voice, though marred by threats, discouragement, sweat, and blood. The victory belongs to the student body which strives, goes above and beyond bars and yet understands the importance of dedication to a cause, spending itself worthily in it. The victory belongs to the student body which sees victory at the other side of the river and longs for it desperately, and if at worst it doesn’t get it, knows that by striving desperately it no longer shares space with cowards who never knew victory nor defeat, those who are merely schooled but not enlightened.
– Theodore Roosevelt (paraphrased)